Brad Hirschfield, I appreciate your bluntness and I want to be blunter on the topic.
Whether it is wars, genocides, massacres or mass murders, there is always a man behind it who initiated and responsible for it. By bringing him to justice, justice can be served and faith in the people can be restored leading to peace.
Blaming religion is like barking in the dark, religion is intangible, you cannot jail it, you cannot hang it and you cannot electrocute it. It is gutlessness on our part (particularly the right wingers) to blame the religion and pass the buck...on to no one.
For thousands of years, it has become a bloody fashion to blame the religion and that is why we were not able to bring justice or restore faith in the system. Let's blame where it belongs and bring justice and restore the balance in the society.
Nuclear power in the hands of good people has been beneficent with light and energy, same thing in the hands of rogues have been destructive, we destroyed Iraq and Afghanistan, shame on us and messed up own economy with deficits.
Had we gone after the criminals, justice would have been restored at a minimal cost and the fabric of society would not have been torn.
It is a new paradigm, and all of us need to ponder on it. I do disagree with you that religions inspire crimes, it is the ugliness in individuals that inspires, not the religion. We should not let any one to blame the religion and allow them to escape the punishment.
MikeGhouseFoundation for Pluralism
Islamic terror is real, as is Jewish and Christian terror
What should we call terrorists, some of whom claim to be motivated by their religion? Can one be an Islamic terrorist? What about a Christian terrorist? Does what we call terrorists matter?
Failing to call Islamic terror, Islamic terror, is dangerously naïve, if not willfully so. The same can be said for Jewish terror and Christian terror as well. All three exist, and for the purposes of this conversation, it makes no difference that they exist to differing degrees.
When terrorists sit at the feet of religious teachers who inspire their violence, when that violence is experienced by the perpetrators as the fulfillment of a religious obligation, and when they call out the name of God before hitting the plunger or pulling the trigger, that is religious terror, be it Islamic, Jewish or Christian. That is how the terrorists see it and for us to say that we know better than they do about the meaning of their own actions is absurd.
Not only is the current policy of shying away from admitting the truth about religious terror foolish, it is dangerous. One cannot address a challenge that remains unacknowledged. So unless one believes that playing ostrich - hiding one's head in the sand and assuming that because we ignore the problem it will go away, is best course to follow, it's time to switch policies.
We need to admit that faith is like a fire - it can warm a home or burn it down. It's not the fire; it's how it is used. We need to simultaneously call out those who use their faiths as destructive fires and also remind people that just because terror is an expression of some people's faith, it is not the only expression of that faith, or even an essential part of it.
Clearly, people who run around 'explaining' that one faith or another is inherently violent, terrorist, or more dangerous that the others don't know much about history. In fact, all three Abrahamic faiths have both shed the blood of others in the name of God, and had their blood shed by others for the exact same reason. But that is all more reason to stop pretending and start addressing the very real problem of religious terror, including Islamic terror.
Ironically, the people who should be at the forefront on this are Muslims themselves. After all, more Muslims die in the name of Allah than do Christians or Jews. We do those victims, not to mention our own national security, no good by denying the religious ground from which that terror springs. Nor do we help when we equate any one act in the name of Islam with an entire 1,500 year tradition.
There is Islamic terror, just as there is Islamic humanitarian relief. We need to appreciate the existence of both, fight the former and cooperate with the latter. We stand at a cross-roads and pretending that we do not simply because it is more convenient, simply will not do.
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Comments from facebook friends;
You are right, David, and you too, Mike. In the end it has always been the head of the nation or the government that makes war, as said by Immanuel Kant and others. He said that a democracy exists only if every person has the right to vote, that makes him a "citizen". But even that has gone awry, as citizens are only now in the process of learning... See More to use their political understanding. Ultimately change s towards true equality or pluralism will have to come from those citizens, you and me, that is from the bottom up. All dictatorships and most governments will act from the top down. True concensus will ultimately be possible, but it requires fair negotiation (and education) between the opposed sides.
David L. Ponedel
In my view, changes to a religion that will last must arise from within, not from without. Designating a name to terrorism has a certain usefulness in identifying the source of cruelty, but over the long haul it denigrates the innocent as well as the perpetrators. Those of the faith must distinguish between universal truth and misguided practice. It is they who must withhold support to effect positive change. We must support them in that effort. Name calling makes that more difficult.